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    Professional Re-Purpose-er

    “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask ‘why’... I dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not?’ .”
                                                     - Robert F. Kennedy

           When I look at something as it is, the question always rolling around in the background is “What else could it be. What are the possibilities here?”. I don’t do this just with physical items, but with situations, circumstances, relationships, perhaps even the experience of life itself.
           This is a double edged sword. On the downside, it can make it challenging for me to accept what is. Because a corollary to seeing what things could be is that I naturally see the undercurrents, the subtext, the silent stories. I am drawn to what’s underneath, to what’s below the surface. I tend to swim in the deep part of the ocean, not the shallows.
           A great skill perhaps, but it can also make dealing with reality difficult, and it can frustrate those who do not see what’s underneath, or don’t even care about it. My challenge is to deal with both what is and what could be without dichotomizing. Without polarizing the surface or the depth, the superficial or the more substantial. For this is truly the yin and the yang at work in life. One could not exist without the other; they are both necessary for the existence of each other.
           On the upside, this propensity to ask "What else could it be?" contributes to my standing as a Professional Re-Purpose-er. I repurpose whatever I can. I don’t see things in the box of what they are “supposed” to be, of what they “should” be, of what they are “commonly” known for, or as.  
            It’s an attitude more than a way of thinking. It’s not just a cognitive construct. It’s a way of being in the world. It’s not just about thinking outside the box. It’s about living outside the box.
           You don’t have to be a crazy artist to do this. You can apply it, in small ways, in however it works, into your own life, no matter how traditional or conventional areas of your life are. In upcoming webinars, podcasts, and live presentations, I’ll guide people on how to do this. Here and now, I can give you a glimpse into how it works for me, and maybe provide you with some insight into how it may work for you.
           Over the weekend, I walked by a Victoria's Secret store and saw these very cool ultra sparkly spandex pants pictured in a giant window display. If I had a girlfriend, I would have immediately thought of how great she would look in them. I would buy her a pair, and ask her to try them on for me. If she didn’t like them, or if they weren’t her cup of tea, even for just hanging around the house, no problem. Return them, and get something you like, baby. Oh, but I’m keeping the pair I bought for myself......
           When I saw these pants, my Re-Purpose way of being naturally and immediately asked  the question “What else could this Female Casual Wear be?”. That question was then immediately answered with “Male Halloween Costume”. So in I went, made friends with a few of the female support staff, and walked out with a pair. It was a fun and different experience for everybody. We all made new connections, however brief and transient. The staff made a sale, and I had a pair of killer pants. And when I told them what the pants were for, after I modeled them upon request, they told me they wanted pictures from wherever I spent Halloween. Everybody wins.
           At a wedding I attended, the name and table assignment card holders got re-purposed into giant pieces of bling. With just some imagination and scotch tape, graciously provided by the bar tenders. When I looked at the decorative plastic diamonds, I saw possibilities, not card holders. Then I came up with something that I liked. Something that spoke to me. In so doing, several of the women at the wedding saw what I did, dug it, and wanted some of what I had. So I helped them out. Again, it was fun, it was different, it helped us connect. I created something, and then we created something. That’s what it’s all about for me.  
           Silly examples? Maybe. But this is the raw material, the grist for the mill, of a more creative life; of a life with more fun, more self expression, more connection, more vitality. All, in part, because of Re-Purposing. All because of painting outside the lines. We all have the capacity to engage in this, in a countless variety of ways that suit and benefit our own lives.
           Paint outside the lines today. Somewhere. Somehow. Then tell me about it in the comments section. Let’s create something that wasn’t there before.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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      Professional Re-Purpose-er - Blog - What's Inside Me - MuscleHeart

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